Cistac Murder – Investigation Team Set Up (

The Mozambican Attorney General’s Office has announced the formation of a special team of prosecutors and police to investigate the assassination last Tuesday of prominent constitutional lawyer Gilles Cistac, gunned down outside a café in central Maputo.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, assistant attorney-general Alberto Paulo said that this team is working with other bodies, both Mozambican and foreign, to establish the truth about the murder. He claimed that Mozambique has requested support from both Interpol and from the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO).
Cited in Tuesday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, Paulo insisted that efforts are being made to clear up this case as quickly as possible.
“We want to collect the maximum amount of evidence possible to show what really happened”, he said. “But we have to collect this evidence within the parameters allowed by the law”.
Paulo confirmed that a few weeks before he was murdered Cistac submitted a complaint to the Attorney-General’s Office about the campaign of hatred and libel to which he had been submitted in social media – pseudonymous writers on Facebook, for example, had called him a “French spy”, and had suggested he obtained Mozambican nationality fraudulently.
Cistac’s complaint, Paulo said, had nothing to do with death threats, but concerned “defamation and libel.
This case does indeed exist, and was submitted on 2 February”.
Currently there are no named suspects, he added, since those who libeled Cistac used false names. Work was under way to identify the true identity of these people, Paulo said, “what their motives were, and we will treat it as any libel case is treated”.
Despite the talk about international cooperation, the Mozambican authorities have not yet contacted the South African police. On Monday the spokesperson for the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Solomon Makgale, said the Mozambican government had not asked the SAPS for assistance in locating the killers of Cistac.
Yet, given the long established links between South African and Mozambican organized crime, it is extraordinary that the South African police were not immediately contact. The four member death squad who murdered Cistac could conceivably have been recruited in South Africa – and if they have left the country, they may well have taken refuge in South Africa.
This would not be the first time that criminals wanted in Mozambique have fled across the border into South Africa. The country’s most notorious assassin, Anibal dos Santos Junior (“Anibalzinho”), who led the death squad which assassinated investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso in November 2000, escaped from prison three times, and on two of those occasions he went into hiding in South Africa.
Also on Monday, Interior Minister Jaime Monteiro announced a shake-up in the top ranks of the police force. He appointed Paulo Chacine, previously head of intelligence in the Ministry, as the new national director of the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC), replacing Joao Zandamela. Joao Brito da Cunha becomes the new intelligence head in the Ministry.
Xavier Tocoli becomes the new head of public order and security in the police, and Jeremias Cumbe becomes head of operations in the police General Command. Jose Weng San is transferred from head of the Zambezia provincial police command, to become commander of the frontier police. Among the other changes, new commanders are appointed to the Zambezia, Cabo Delgado, Inhambane and Gaza commands.
Monteiro declared that his ministry “has been implementing reforms seeking to bring its activities into line with the current legal and constitutional framework, and to the demand imposed by the rapid development of our society”.
The police, he said, must respond to “the challenges resulting from the transnational nature of security, in the current context of glabalisation”.
Monteiro did not mention specifically the Cistac murder – but since he took office in January, there has been a resurgence of violent crime in Maputo, of which the assassination is just the most gruesome example. Changes in the police force, and particularly in PIC, were thus not unexpected.
The government has also announced that Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi will visit France from Wednesday to Friday, at the invitation of his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius. While this invitation was clearly issued long before Gilles Cistac was murdered, the assassination undoubtedly changes the nature of the visit.
Cistac, who was born in Toulouse in 1961, held dual Mozambican and French nationality. The French authorities will certainly want to know how the investigations are proceeding.
While he is in France, Baloi will take part in a colloquium on investment opportunities in Mozambique, organized by the French government agency “Business France”, and will meet with the Mozambican community resident in France.
Source: Business